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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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 Post subject: Molluscum Contagiosum
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:40 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:53 pm
Posts: 3
I have had MC for a few months now and I thought I would share my experience. I also have some questions in regards to treatment…

I began with a few small papules on my lower abdomen, as is pretty standard from everything I’ve read. I had the papules treated with Cryotherapy. My dermatologist used liquid nitrogen to “burn” off the papules. It hurt a little and created some scabbing. After a few weeks, some of the scabs had peeled off and the skin underneath had healed. Some of the areas were still red and enflamed a little. I went back to my dermatologist and he treated them again with cryotherapy. This created and even larger scabbing area which has still not healed. I was prescribed a cream to apply a few days a week. I apply it to areas were papules are/were but do not notice any benefit from doing so. The areas where papules existed that healed after cryotherapy have lost a little color. The areas where papules existed that have not (yet) healed are red and enflamed.

After I received my second cryotherapy treatment, new papules showed up on my penis. No new papules have shown up on my lower abdomen. I decided not to have the new papules treated with cryotherapy because I do not want any permanent scarring on my penis. I also am beginning to doubt the real benefit of cryotherapy. It creates scars and blemishes on the skin when (and if) it heals. From everything I’ve read, you will almost always develop new papules even while being treated and they only go away once the body builds up a defense against the virus that’s in your skin (see Wikipedia quote below). So why go through the discomfort of burning of the papules if they’re eventually going to go away on they’re own. And the only way you know you’re cured of the virus is when they go away and don’t show up anymore. Cryotherapy seems to be pointless to me.
[“It is important to remember that removal of the visible bumps does not cure the disease. The virus is in the skin and new bumps often appear over the course of a year until the body mounts an effective immune response to the virus. Thus any surgical treatment may require it to be repeated each time new crops of lesions appear.” Wikipedia]

Although MC is considered a sexually transmitted disease, I truly believe I contracted it from other sources (such as an infected towel or something). I have only had one sexual partner in the last year & a half and to this day, that person has not contracted the virus. We have since stopped having sex but were sexually active up until about three weeks before I noticed papules. I have not been sexually active since.

So, my first question is…what is the benefit of cryotherapy?

My second question is…once I am “cured”, can I re-acquire a different strand? Is it like chicken pox where you get it once and never again or can you get MC multiple times in your life?

My third question is…is the virus everywhere in your skin or can you only spread it after touching an infected area? For instance, can the skin in my elbow or knee or neck or finger transmit the virus? From what I’ve read, it seems like you can only spread the virus by coming into direct contact with an infected area.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:45 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:25 am
Posts: 141
Hi JoeJoe,

I know you posted this a few days ago and I'm sorry for not responding more quickly. The truth is you ask a lot of good questions. Some are more difficult to answer because there has not been a lot of research done on molluscum to date. I can tell you what we do know, though.

You're probably right about the fact that you fot mulluscom non-sexually. We know it can be sexually transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. It may also be transmitted from inanimate objects that come in contact with the lesions. Transmission has been associated with swimming pools and sharing baths with an infected person.

There is also the possibility of autoinoculation (infecting other areas of the body form the original infection). Your lesions can also be removed surgically and/or treated with a chemical agent as opposed freezing them off. The benefit to cryotherapy is that it's a rather quick treatment.

The period of infectivity is not fully known. Researchers assume that if the virus is present then it may be transmitted.

I hope it clears up for you soon with no further recurrences. I'll be here to try to answer other questions.

Dharma

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